Re: Screenshots Too Light

Subject: Re: Screenshots Too Light
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Sat, 22 Aug 2009 10:52:25 +0300

Several issues:

If your users will do the printing locally, it is likely that they
will print in monochrome--and "baby blue" will indeed come out very
light. Additionally, if they print in color, they are likely to get
any of a wide variety of results, depending upon their printer, its
drivers, the color models involved, etc.

Since screen captures start out as RGB information, and few printers
understand RGB, even color printers may have a variety of results
depending upon how they are set to do the conversion from RGB to
whatever color model they use (frequently CMYK these days, but not

(The few who may have six-color photo printers will probably not have
an issue with the printouts, as they are capable of much better
dynamic range).

There are several things you could do, such as to recolor the affected
areas slightly--not so much as to look totally unlike the original,
but enough to at least give the printouts a little help. Most modern
graphics programs have a "magic wand" tool to allow you to select the
particular item that is a problem, based upon its color values,
whereupon you can use the "bucket fill" tool to make it slightly

Obviously, there is an interface design issue--but you know that already.

Alternatively, you might also create secondary files for monochrome
printing that users could open if that is their intention. Slightly
darkening the gray values for the affected too-light elements would be
relatively unobtrusive in such cases.

Finally, if it is worth it, you might also create versions of the
graphics already converted to CMYK. These might prove sufficient to
use in the document itself, and if you have done it with care these
should print fine on most color printers--although I would also want
to test print them in monochrome to be sure that they are sufficient
in themselves.

Printing remains something of a black art, I'm afraid.


On Sat, Aug 22, 2009 at 09:00, <techwr-l-request -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> wrote:
> From: "Karen Field Carroll" <kfcarroll -at- cox -dot- net>
> To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2009 14:01:02 -0700
> Subject: Screenshots Too Light
> I'm using SnagIt for screenshots, which I love, but the Web sites I document
> use light-colored objects, such as baby-blue buttons, and my graphics always
> appear way too light in the guides. I've tried experimenting with SnagIt's
> contrast features, but I don't think I'm doing it right. Does anyone have
> any ideas on how to darken page objects without darkening the whole image?
> Thanks.
> Karen

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